College of Public Programs professors receive ASU Faculty Awards

Flavio Marsiglia, Erik Johnston and Michael White

Three professors from the College of Public Programs received honors at the 2014 ASU Faculty Awards ceremony. Flavio Marsiglia, Erik Johnston and Michael White were recognized for their excellence in research and teaching.

Flavio Marsiglia, School of Social Work professor and Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center director, was selected as the recipient of the Google Award for Diversity and Inclusion. The award honors a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member who demonstrates excellence in scholarship related to diversity and inclusion.

Marsiglia created the research center to help health disparities in minority populations in the Southwestern United States. He is known nationally for creating the Keepin’ it REAL drug prevention campaign aimed at students in sixth through ninth grade. It teaches kids how to say no to alcohol, tobacco and drugs by focusing on decision-making, communication and drug-resistant strategies. The program is being refined for use in Mexico and Uruguay.

"Flavio’s accomplishments over a very long time certainly merit this award," says Steven Anderson, ASU School of Social Work director.

Two other College of Public Programs professors received the Best Professional Application award at the 2014 ASU Faculty Awards for work in their respective fields. The award recognizes a specific contribution over the last 10 years that meets the highest standards of the discipline or profession, acknowledges the foundational findings or principles and gives it a specific application.

Center for Policy Informatics director and School of Public Affairs professor Erik Johnston studies and creates applications for public policy problem-solving through crowdsourcing ideas, or what he calls “participatory platforms with public intent.” He was recently selected by the MacArthur Foundation to join an elite group of international experts on a major effort to improve governance. The Opening Governance project will study new uses of technologies, data and public engagement to design innovative government programs with evidence of what works best.

“Professor Johnston has been a leader in studying these participatory platforms and making concrete recommendations for improved use,” says Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs. “In many ways, his research is contributing to an innovative, emerging area of practice.”

The 2014 Best Professional Application award was also given to criminologist Michael White. White is an associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and is associate director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety in the College of Public Programs. White has studied the effectiveness of Taser devices used by police, including an analysis of arrest-related deaths involving the electroshock weapons.

"Dr. White is deserving of this honor as his work has broken new ground in the understanding of the intersection of technology and public safety," says Koppell.

White is co-author of the book "Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department," published in 2013. The book provides details of the largest study ever conducted on police misconduct. White recently hosted a television program that focused on the Phoenix Police Department's use of uniform-mounted television cameras. The show aired on Phoenix channel 11.

"I'm humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award," says White. "I think one of the most important responsibilities we have as faculty members is to conduct research that can guide policy and practice in the field. This responsibility is especially critical for studying the intersection of policing and emerging technologies, such as the TASER and body-worn cameras. This award is about partnerships between researchers and practitioners, and such partnerships are grounded in mutual trust and respect."

The professors received their awards from ASU President Michael Crow and Provost Robert Page, Jr. at a ceremony held April 18 on the Tempe campus. They were among 14 professors to receive awards. The annual awards recognize faculty for their excellence in research and in the classroom. All nominations for faculty awards are reviewed by Regents’ Professors who recommend recipients to the president and provost.